We are Human Beings, not Human Doings

A friend of mine in Australia recently sent me an interesting article suggesting that “Right Brain” functioning begins to develop first in children - usually starting at age 3. It is not until the child is 6 or 7 that the “Left Brain” aspects begin to unfold.

Now Right/Left brain functioning has been an area of interest to psychologists and neurologists for a number of years. It is commonly accepted that the left side of our brains are very structured focusing in on language, literacy, and analytical skills. It is very calculating, logical, and statistical, accounting for most of our planning and activities that we do.

The right side of our brain, the one that scientists feels develop first, is much more intuitive and macroscopic. It is the part of the brain that houses empathy, creativity, imagination, wonder, dreaming and being.

Indeed, the great thinkers have articulated this without a whole lot of L/R research. Einstein famously said: “Logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will get you everywhere.”

I have been interested in L/R thinking for some time and often will do some short and simple exercises to help people think about their own propensities. I usually tie these into the notion of the “gatekeeper” in better understanding people who will take a bit more social risk - especially in supporting folks with disabilities in building social capital.

The article my friend sent seemed to suggest that, given the newest research maintaining that our right side develops first, might be a clue about the more important aspects of life. After all, we are referred to as “Human Beings,” not “Human Doings.” I love that inference.